Review: CSI 7.1

CSI Cirque du Soleil

In the US: Thursdays, 9pm ET/PT, CBS

In the UK: In the usual places from January.

Characters re-cast: 0

Major characters gotten rid of: 0

Major new characters: 0, but Louise Lombard is in the credits now

Format change percentage: 0%, unless you count Sara and Grissom acknowledging their love

Beards lost: 1

Is it really over six years since CSI started? It doesn’t seem possible, does it? Yet here we are on season seven. Doesn’t time fly?

The original CSI has always been the greatest of the three franchises. It’s smarter, has better characters, better characterisations, better plots, better dialogue. Better everything really. And at least the forensic science is somewhere close to being true and it’s not seen as some kind of magic that can prove all things.

Enough. Rant over. The best is back, but can the champ still knock out the opposition?

Oh yes. It’s the end of round one and the others are on the floor in a stupor.

CSI episodes generally come in three varieties: the whacky Las Vegas stories; the deeply disturbing ones, usually with a bit of gore; and the regular, mundane procedurals. This first episode, the first of a two-parter, is all three.

The initial story involves a death at the Cirque Du Soleil (story type one) and an investigation of a suspected suicide (story type three). Another, completely character-driven sub-segment involves Jim Brass getting a commendation for his taking a bullet last season, while about halfway through the story, a more disturbing plot involving Catherine suddenly materialises out of the back of a John Mayer concert (story type two).

All the plots are done with the typical style, skill and acting craft of CSI, where characters get to be characters rather than simple plot propellents. All the while, the love that dare not to speak its name for fear of getting itself fired – Sara and Grissom of the Hawaiian shirt – gets to exchange meaningful glances and vegeburgers.

CSI fans rejoice: unlike last year’s season opener, this one’s excellent and there are no disturbing format changes, although something big is definitely coming, I suspect. And anyone who’s never seen an episode, this is as good a place to start as any.


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.

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